Arsenal maintained their unbeaten record in the Premier League after a late 2-2 draw against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.
The Blues played well and deservedly took a two-goal lead, but they made a mistake later in the game that allowed the Gunners to get back in the match. Mikel Arteta’s team lacked energy for most of the game at Stamford Bridge, but they showed mental toughness and fought back to earn a draw.
How the game unfolded
Chelsea started the game with a lot of energy and put pressure on Oleksandr Zinchenko, forcing him to lose possession in his own box within the first minute. Enzo Fernandez tried to take advantage of this and curled a shot narrowly over the goal. Later, the hosts were upset when they were not awarded a penalty after a cross hit William Saliba’s arm, but after a VAR check, referee Chris Kavanagh gave the Blues a spot kick. Cole Palmer scored the penalty to put Chelsea in the lead.
Arsenal’s first chance of the game came when Declan Rice moved forward into the space vacated by right-back Malo Gusto, but his cross was too strong for Gabriel Jesus to reach. Chelsea was dangerous on the counter-attack, with Conor Gallagher weaving his way through Arsenal’s defense to play through Palmer, who dragged his shot just wide.
Just after the break, Chelsea doubled their lead thanks to a mistake from Martin Odegaard. The hosts were able to break, and the ball was eventually crossed to Mykhailo Mudryk, whose deep cross flummoxed David Raya and ended up in the far corner of the net.
Raya was lucky not to concede a third goal when he passed the ball straight to Palmer but managed to save the resulting shot. As it seemed Chelsea were cruising to victory, Arsenal scored a goal in the last 15 minutes. Sanchez made a mistake and passed the ball straight to Rice, who scored from 30 yards.
Soon after, the Gunners scored again to level the game. Bukayo Saka, who had been shut out of the game by Marc Cucurella, crossed the ball to the back post, where substitute Leandro Trossard scored to equalize. Neither team could score again, and the game ended in a draw.
Arsenal player ratings (4-3-3)
GK: David Raya – 3/10 – Beaten too easily on Mudryk’s cross and an extreme net negative on the ball.
RB: Ben White – 5/10 – Burned by Mudryk for pace on occasion but was hardly self-destructive like some of his teammates.
CB: William Saliba – 4/10 – Perhaps the handball call was a little harsh, but he should know not to leave his arms out so wide in the box on a cross. Struggled to cope with Chelsea’s forwards at times.
CB: Gabriel – 6/10 – In a bit of bother when dealing with Palmer but was otherwise fine.
LB: Oleksandr Zinchenko – 4/10 – Came infield when in possession but offered little defensive support out of it. Replaced by Tomiyasu at half-time.
CM: Jorginho – 4/10 – An unhappy first return to Stamford Bridge. Was unable to open up his former side and was too safe in possession.
CM: Declan Rice – 7/10 – Kick-started the Arsenal fightback with a fine finish from range when afforded the chance. Arsenal’s busiest midfielder due to Jorginho and Odegaard’s reluctance to do pretty much anything.
CM: Martin Odegaard – 3/10 – Arsenal’s captain did not lead by example. Shirked responsibilities when Arsenal tried to control the game and gave the ball away carelessly.
RW: Bukayo Saka – 7/10 – Clamped down by Cucurella for the most part before reminding everyone of his quality with a stunning cross for Trossard.
CF: Gabriel Jesus – 5/10 – Hustled and bustled his way across the frontline in search of service but was starved of it for the most part.
LW: Gabriel Martinelli – 5/10 – Tried his hardest to get a yard of space on his flank but he was quickly surrounded by Chelsea bodies.
SUB: Takehiro Tomiyasu (46′ for Zinchenko) – 5/10 – A little more steady than Zinchenko, but not by a wide margin.
SUB: Eddie Nketiah (68′ for Jesus) – 5/10
SUB: Emile Smith Rowe (68′ for Jorginho) – 6/10
SUB: Kai Havertz (78′ for Odegaard) – 6/10
SUB: Leandro Trossard (78′ for Martinelli) – 8/10
Subs not used: Karl Hein (GK), Jakub Kiwior, Thomas Partey, Reiss Nelson
Mikel Arteta – 6/10 – Arsenal were let off the hook for a very poor opening 75 minutes, but they showed their mental strength with a late rally.